Posts tagged
with cats


Thousands of Meticulously Layered Strips of Metal Bring Selçuk Yılmaz’s Big Cat Sculptures to Life

April 27, 2023

Kate Mothes

“Jaguar.” All images © Selçuk Yılmaz, shared with permission

Thousands of thin, intricately placed metal strips form powerful wildlife portraits by Selçuk Yılmaz (previously). Adding new meaning to “big cats,” his recent series explores the legendary power, courage, and resilience of jaguars, lions, and the prehistoric saber-tooth tiger. A painstaking process of hammering, layering and welding individual pieces links realistic representation and the addition of artistic elements, such as the regal adornment on the forehead of the lion, which is titled “King.”

Minimal, abstracted contours delineate the form of Yılmaz’s saber-tooth tiger, a huge cat that roamed what is now North and South America for millennia until they became extinct about 10,000 years ago. Combining a realistic face with a simple outline, the artist draws attention to its snarling expression and the fact that we can only imagine what the early mammals actually looked like. In “Jaguar,” a lifelike portrayal of a muscular feline interacts with the light through layered textures. “Since light and metal have opposite properties, they can create an interesting balance and contrast when they come together,” the artist tells Colossal. “It gives the feeling that light has a soul.”

Find more of Yılmaz’s work on Instagram and Behance.


A woman stands beside a metal sculpture of a lion's head. The lion has a crown-like adornment on its forehead.


An abstracted metal sculpture of a sabertooth tiger with a realistic face and outlined edges.

“Saber-tooth Tiger”

A detail of a metal sculpture of a sabertooth tiger's teeth.

Detail of “Saber-tooth Tiger”

A detail of a metal sculpture of a sabertooth tiger's eyes and nose.

Detail of “Saber-tooth Tiger”

A metal sculpture of a jaguar's head in profile.


A metal sculpture of a panther in profile, with light shining on it and reflecting onto the face of the artist, who faces the sculpture.

The artist with “Jaguar”

An artist welds a sculpture of a sabertooth tiger's face in his studio.

“Saber-tooth Tiger” in progress




Art Illustration

Rain Szeto Renders Imaginative Scenarios in Intricately Detailed Ink and Watercolor Illustrations

April 17, 2023

Kate Mothes

A detailed watercolor and ink illustration of a small cafe with a figure in the center serving a fish to a cat. Another cat is curled up on a stool.

“Cat Hours.” All images © Rain Szeto, shared with permission

In Rain Szeto’s intricately rendered fictional universe, people partake in work and pastimes surrounded by stacks of books, snacks, merchandise, and mementos. Her detailed illustrations (previously) portray the organized chaos of everyday activities in domestic spaces and in shops, cafes, and outdoor areas. Typically centered around a single character like a baker behind a counter or a figure carrying a pot of flowers, the scenes are filled with quotidian objects, providing a lived-in feeling that brims with colorful energy.

Based in San Francisco, Szeto began working in comics during art school, which cemented her interest in narrative drawings. Specific details like the design of food packaging, an elaborate audio mixer setup, or pastries in a glass case suggest individual hobbies, jobs, and personalities distinctive enough that they could be mistaken for real places. Many of her recent pieces also feature feline friends that stride by confidently or curl up on cushions, including an orange tabby that could just as well be making the rounds to all of the inviting spaces.

Most of these works are on view through April 26 in Szeto’s solo exhibition Idle Moments Too at Giant Robot’s GR2 location in Los Angeles. Find more of her work on Instagram.


A detailed watercolor and ink illustration of a bakery with many trays of pastries and breads. A baker looks at a sleeping cat on the counter.


A detailed watercolor and ink illustration of a figure in his living room at a table with a hot beverage, and a sleeping cat next to him.

“Afternoon Movie”

A detailed watercolor and ink illustration of a figure standing behind a counter, surrounded by hundreds of packages of food. He is scanning a package and appears "checked out."

“Checked Out”

Two detailed watercolor and ink illustrations. On the left, a man sits at a small table and eats lunch while a cat also sits on the table and eats. On the right, an orange tabby cat with a flower in its mouth walks by a man carrying a potted plant.

Left: “Lunch Break.” Right: “Springtime”

A detailed watercolor and ink illustration of a figure sitting inside of a densely stocked food shop.

“Corner Shop”

A detailed watercolor and ink illustration of a shopkeeper standing behind a counter, and a calico cat has just walked through the open door.

“First Customer”

A detailed watercolor and ink illustration of a young man sitting on a chair with an electric guitar, surrounded by keyboards and sound mixing equipment.


A detailed watercolor and ink illustration of a well-stocked shop full of food with a satisfied-looking orange tabby cat sitting in the center.

“Shop Cat”

A detailed watercolor and ink illustration of a small fish shop with a shopkeeper standing outside the front door.

“Smoked Fish”

A detailed watercolor and ink illustration of a young figure sitting on the floor in a house, looking through records. An orange cat sleeps on a table outside on the balcony.

“Summer Waves”




Photographer Masayuki Oki Focuses a Humorous Lens on Japan’s Feline Residents

December 9, 2022

Kate Mothes

A photograph of a motorized scooter with two cats sitting in the seat, appearing as if they will drive it.

All images © Masayuki Oki, shared with permission

The archipelago of Japan consists of more than 6,800 islands, of which around 280 are inhabited, and in a few places, known as neko-shima or “cat islands,” felines vastly outnumber the human residents. Fishing villages like the one on Aoshima, the most well-known of around a dozen cat islands, introduced the creatures in the early 20th century to combat rodent infestations. Their prolific progeny, perched on walls and scampering underfoot, have been a continuous source of fascination for photographer Masayuki Oki.

For the past eight years, Oki has documented clowders of cats in his home city of Tokyo and on islands around the nation, focusing on the feral animals’ interactions. Viewed through a an anthropomorphic lens, the images capture playful pounces and awkward entanglements with humor and a knack for good timing.

You can follow Oki’s feline adventures on his blog and Instagram. He releases annual calendars featuring some of the year’s best photographs, and he also updates a YouTube channel with short videos of furball shenanigans.


A photograph of two cats, one walking in the foreground and the other looking about ready to attack its mate.

A photograph of a black cat climbing down a vending machine full of drinks.

A photograph of two cats sitting on a box, one massaging the other's back.

A photograph of a cat carrying a fish in its mouth.  A photograph of a cat grabbing at a dog's leash in the street.

A photograph of a black-and-white cat playing with a flower in a pot.

A photograph of a black cat embracing or attacking a white cat.

A white cat sitting on the top of the wall, meowing at the photographer. A photograph of two cats, one with its paw on the shoulder of the other.




Playful Portraits by Elke Vogelsang Catch Cats’ Cranky and Silly Emotions

July 13, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Elke Vogelsang, shared with permission

Unlike the affectionate canine companions that grace many of Elke Vogelsang’s portraits, the cats she finds in front of her camera exhibit more irritable, even stereotypical emotions. She captures her feline subjects with a range of reactions, whether snarling and baring their teeth or showing off their more playful sides with leaps into the air or a quick flick of their tongues.

A professional pet portraitist, Vogelsang mostly visits her subjects at their homes rather than bringing them to her Hildesheim studio. This tends to make the animals more comfortable, she shares, at least enough for her to coax out more genuine emotions with the help of string, feathers, treats, and sometimes catnip for mood-boosting. “Let’s face it, cats can be so much harder to photograph than dogs. If they can’t be bothered, they won’t do it for our sake,” she says. “In general, sessions with cats are shorter than sessions with dogs. They are the ones to determine the schedule.”

Vogelsang maintains an Instagram account devoted to her feline collaborators, and you can find much more of her portraiture on her site.





Dozens of Carved Layers Compose Vivid Linocut Prints of Cats and Bouquets by Vanessa Lubach

June 13, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Helen with Geraniums.” All images © Vanessa Lubach, shared with permission

Norfolk-based artist Vanessa Lubach likens her printmaking practice to that of oil painting and draws on the latter to inform her vibrant compositions. “I linocut like a painter and paint like a linocutter, and the two disciplines work together to inform and enhance each other,” she tells Colossal. Whether depicting bunches of dahlias and cosmos in a ceramic pitcher or an enchanting forest landscape, Lubach’s works center on quiet moments in domestic interiors or out among nature.

Each piece begins with a sketch and a general idea of the palette. “I’m always optimistic that I can limit the colour layers to around a dozen at this point, but that almost never happens. They almost always end up in the 20s,” she says. After drawing and carving the main image, or key block, she prints and transfers the composition to additional blocks designed for each individual color. Some pieces, like the ceremonial “Allotment Bouquet,” take almost a year to complete.

Two of Lubach’s works are included in the traveling 84th Annual Exhibition of the Society of Wood Engravers, which is on view through July 9 at Sea Pictures Gallery in Suffolk. She also has a variety of prints available on Etsy and shares much more of her process and glimpses into her studio on Instagram. (via Women’s Art)


“Hector with Dahlias”

“Hector with Dahlias”

“Hector with Dahlias”

“Allotment Bouquet”

“Allotment Bouquet”

“Blickling Through The Trees”

“Blickling Through The Trees”

“Dahlia and Cosmos”




Black Ink and Watercolor Bleed into Hazy Creatures in Endre Penovác’s Paintings

March 11, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Endre Penovác

Serbian artist Endre Penovác (previously) wrangles the bleeds of black ink and watercolor in his shadowy renderings of domestic and wild animals. Sometimes delineating a talon or ear with thin markings, Penovác primarily allows the medium to run across the paper, transforming a housecat or chicken into a dreamy, phantom-like character. Many of the works frame the central animal with negative space and utilize the soft, hazy edges to evoke fur and feathers. Originals and prints of his paintings are available from Saatchi Art, and head to Instagram to explore an extensive archive of his ghostly creatures.




A Colossal


Sailing Ship Kite